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  1. I forgot to mention that my shrink thinks this comes from my father leaving the family when I was around 4 or 5...something that I have no recollection of. So there is something about having someone fail to communicate that makes me very anxious and feels rejecting. At the same time, it's equally scary if someone gets really close really early on. Since my comfort level is such a delicate balance I really sruggle to make relationships work!
  2. Before I write this I just have to explain that I have A LOT of anxiety about relationships!! I'm just not very good at them. What happens is that I have so much anxiety and am always worried about the way a relationship is going. It is very hard for me to "wait and see" or to just let things happen. Consequently, I guess maybe this puts a lot of pressure on the relationship or my anxiety comes out somehow. I like this guy that I'm seeing and do not want to push him away but I wonder if I already have. Here's the story. I have been seeing this guy for about 5 or 6 weeks. In the beginning he came on really strong...saying that he had no question about wanting to be with me, etc., and the first week we hung out we saw each other 3 days in a row. This made me really anxious...it completely freaked me out! Things were moving so fast and I was afraid to disappoint him, jump in too quickly etc. etc., so I told him that I liked him a lot but that I wanted to get to know him more slowly--to see each other a couple times a week, and just move a little bit more slowly. Since then I'm feeling mixed signals and wonder if he's less interested in me. He's been a lot less consistent with me--a couple of times he canceled plans with me at the very last minute. For example, we just had a date last week that went really well. Even he said it was "great" and made plans to see me again just a few days later, but then he ended up canceling because he is in the process of moving (we made plans for this weekend, though). Also, he plays in a band and when I asked about the show tomorrow night he said he didn't remember telling me about it. I told him it was posted on his Myspace page and he said, "Oh okay. well you can come if you want but we're trying to get people to go to another show we're having later in the month." So I felt that he didn't really want me to come. Long story short, I ALWAYS feel that people are rejecting me and ALWAYS wonder if someone doesn't like me or if they don't want to be with me. So this may be just how I interpret things. At the same time, however, I feel like I'm not getting as much attention as I would like to be getting from this guy and I like people to follow through when they say they are going to do something or make plans with me. It drives me crazy when someone cancels on me for flaky reasons and he's done this more than once. I am blaming myself for making the "mistake" of asking for a bit more space in the beginning...but you have to understand how anxious about having the relationship crash and burn because we let it move too quickly. So, how can I make things right if my neurotic worries freaked him out too much at the beginning?
  3. I am feeling terribly ashamed, alone and depressed. The issue is the same as always. For whatever reason, I seem to be incapable of maintaining a romantic relationship. I think I understand the problem, which is that (in addition to all of my other problems) I have anxiety and am terribly sensitive to rejection. I get so anxious when a relationship is starting it is too hard for me to give it time and space and let it develop naturally. If I don't hear from the guy for 3 or 4 days, I start to wonder if they are rejecting me. Even if I am able to keep that fear to myself, the anxiety and worry expresses itself in other ways. I have guys who tell me they are crazy about me...and then they disappear from my life! The longest (and best) relationship I ever had was 3 years, but lately I'm lucky if I make it to 3 months. The worst thing about it is that so many of them end with the guy ignoring me. I *hate* to be ignored, and I get terrible anxiety so unfortunately my response is almost always to try to contact them and change their mind. Then when they continue to ignore me it's so painful. Since obviously these problems cannot be solved instantaneously, perhaps you can think of some dating "rules" that would help me? For instance, how long do you wait without hearing from someone before you try to contact them? How long before you start to worry? Any tips for helping me control this anxiety? It's starting to become a vicious cycle. I'm feeling really depressed and downtrodden. It's as though there is no hope for me. I cannot be happy with my life if I'm not in a relationship, as a relationship is really important for feeling connected and loved.
  4. I am pretty sure that my ex (we just broke up this week) and I weren't compatible with each other. It was basically an issue of life goals, and also that he is planning to move to another city before the end of the year and I didn't really seem to fit into his plans. However, there are so many things I will miss about him. For instance, I am usually somewhat shy and standoffish--but miraculously we had a kissy, huggy, hang-all-over-each-other type of relationship. I miss the stubble on his cheeks. I miss how he would always greet me with "hello, beautiful." I guess what I'm saying is that when you date someone there are all of these little things that you love about them, and after you break up there are things that painfully remind you of them. My head says we did the right thing by breaking up, but my heart is hurting. I'm also hurting because I feel that I was just starting to really be into him. It's like as soon as I let my guard down and started to believe that maybe I could be happy and have someone in my life, boom, it's over.
  5. Years of therapy have taught me many insights, and I've learned to be a much better communicator. In fact, recently I've gotten positive feeback about these things. However, I have a tender spot that can reduce me to nothing, and that is an issue with feeling rejected when a romantic relationship ends. I have a terribly fragile ego. The thing that makes it so ridiculous is how sensitive I am to being rejected--even if I'm not sure how I feel about the other person!! I think in a way this makes me selfish. I feel so consumed by the need to be loved by other people that I wonder if I really have that much to give to others. Maybe this is what dooms my relationships in the first place... For example, very recently I was had questions about my boyfriend (we've since broken up). My questions were about how much I liked him and whether I thought the relationship had potential. Well, turns out that he had questions too and he broke it off. I was DEVASTATED that he had these questions about me--even though I wasn't sure how I felt about him. I blame myself for the breakup--clearly I'm not lovable enough! I can't seem to see this as an issue of compatibility...I see it as proof that I'm worthless and not good enough and that no one will love me. However, this line of thinking is obviously selfish--why should someone be crazy about me when I'm not sure if I'm crazy about him? It seems like there's no logic to why I feel so awful about the breakup. This is embarassing to share but I guess I wonder if anyone has any kind thoughts for me.
  6. The truth is that I have a lot of ISSUES. My biggest issues have to do with romantic relationships. Somehow they never work out and I end up feeling devastated and abandoned. It always is the same. The pattern repeated once again last night, when my latest boyfriend and I broke up. This is a huge problem in my life. I am a very anxious person and the only thing that helps me is to talk to my friends. However, I recognize that my huge amount of "junk" means that I am not the most fun person to be around because I'm often upset about things that are going on in my life. For whatever reason when I am feeling bad it's almost impossible for me to keep it to myself. It's like my sadness and distress get out of control and spill out everywhere. I wish I could be private and keep these things to myself but I just haven't learned to do this. Sometimes I feel like I'm a leech, an "emotional vampire." Don't get me wrong, I listen to my friends and offersupport whenever they need it. However, most people don't need nearly as much support as I do, and therefore I don't get much of a chance to reciprocate. The friendship can then become imbalanced and threatened. For example, I have a friend who I feel has really put distance between us after supporting me through my last breakup. I've tried to ask her in the past if anything was bothering her but she denies it. However, this is not the first time where I have felt someone in my life pull away...and I'm assuming it's because of my neediness. I want to learn how to be a better friend to others and how to control my tendency to dump all of these issues on someone who might not have the patience to hear it. I feel ashamed for being the way I am and for being so open with others. (Why can't I just keep these feelings inside?) I want to have good friendships, real friendships, but it's hard because at times I'm in a bad place emotionally and I don't know HOW to be a better friend.
  7. I think I am really afraid of success and from having others expect a lot from me. I think it has to do with my role in my family. As the youngest I was always seen as less successful and less responsible than my siblings. Anyhow, I often wonder if I'm sabotaging myself. For example, if a job ipays well or requires a lot of responsibility, I won't apply for it. It's almost like I fear having others expect a lot of me. I feel that I have a long history of underachieving.
  8. I am in graduate school and I've only made two (yes TWO) friends in the whole program. And out of those two, I really only enjoy hanging out with one of them. I have always been a naturally introverted person. While I would like to be more extroverted, it doesn't come naturally to me and I often feel tired when I expend the energy to meet more people, go out more, et cetera. If someone talks to me or befriends me I don't have a problem, but it is really hard for me to reach out to others. It's especially hard when I start dating someone. Ideally, I would like to spend most of my time with that person, and sort of get all of my socializing through them and their friends. But often what happens is we'll go out one night (let's say Friday) and then he will do his own thing with his friends the rest of the weekend. Then he gets back in touch with me and asks what I did Saturday night and I feel like a loser when the answer is "just stayed home and watched tv," you know? Honestly, I could have other dates those nights if I wanted, but I'm just not the sort of person to go out with more than one person at a time. Another thing is that counting on one person for everything makes breaking up with them especially painful, as not only do i lose the relationship I lose the social life the person brought into my life. Anyway, it makes me sad that I haven't made more friends in school and that my social calendar isn't full, but I seem to be sort of resistant about changing it. I always seem to be "too tired" or not interested in doing different things. Sometimes I turn down the options that I do have, and I certainly don't go out of my way to pursue new opportunities, hobbies or friendships. I almost feel that I'm the sort of person who would benefit from having a job that I loved and worked a lot of hours so that I would have an excuse for not doing more things or having more friends, i.e. "I would love to but I just don't have the time...!"
  9. My mom is not the best listener or conversationalist. I know that no one is perfect, and I'm happy that she is there to talk to. However, she just drives me nuts sometimes. She always asks leading questions, and she gives advice when it's not really necessary and I just want someone to lend an ear. It can be really frustrating to talk to her!!! Anyway, sometimes I just get so annoyed with her that it makes me grumpy. Then I get really mad at myself for not being a nicer daughter and for being moody. My therapist seems to think that this is why I get depressed...that instead of accepting that everyone gets annoyed or moody sometimes, and that I'm not perfect, I feel that these feelings are unacceptable and when I have them I turn them against myself. I feel so guilty when I get annoyed with her. Anyone else get this way with their family members? Why can't I just be calm and happy and nice all of the time?
  10. I'm having troublesome feelings about my doctor, who I've been working intensely with for several years. He is a great support for me. He is always consistent and caring. He is an excellent listener. In other words, he is everything I want in the world!!! I know, I know this is quote-unquote "transference" but what the hell do I do about it? These are such powerful loving feelings, and they are made even worse because I know for a fact that my doctor is extremely fond of me. He has gone out of his way for me many times. He has also made comments--in an appropriate way--indicating that I am attractive. I'm not even sure that what I'm feeling is romantic love, but it's very powerful. He moved to my neighborhood and now I often see him around and it just kills me...because I love him so much. Even worse, he may not be practicing in this state for more than a year. He doesn't know yet. I know it's a one-way love and I know that it's a love that can't go anywhere, but I have only felt such powerful feelings for someone else before once, and this was an ex I was very serious about. The reason my feelings for this man are so powerful is because they are based on trust. I trust him completely. I've tried to tell him how I feel but the words don't come out. I've hinted in a few little ways but I just don't know how to say it and wonder if it would be a mistake. It sounds so trite ("I'm in love with my therapist"), and I don't want these very real feelings to be brushed off as mere transference.
  11. Thanks. Thing is, he is imperfect but I am also imperfect. The dynamic in our relationship is that he wasn't contacting me enough, but the more I asked/pushed him to give more, the more he pulled away. Other areas of our relationship were great. He seemed to see my requests for more time and attention as "not trusting" him (his words) or trying to control him. He said I'm pushing him away. For example, I've never met his friends, nor he mine, and I said that this really bothered me. But still he never invited me to meet them While I'm quite certain that I have overracted about certain issues and been needy--due to my anxiety & depression being really bad right now--at the same time, he is not able to see my behavior for what it is--an expression of my need to have a boyfriend who is a big part of my life and not just someone I hang out with on the weekend. We've been dating for 5 months so I do have certain expectations for phone contact, meeting his friends, etc.
  12. I'm really down and depressed. I have a terrible time filling up my free time. It is hard enough to get up in the morning lately...let alone to develop interests, hobbies, or friendships. I never know where to go or what to do when I feel this way, so I usually go to a cafe. Any other ideas?
  13. Hi Becca! Haven't seen you in a while. Loonatik, I am right there with you. I was recently in a relationship but I think we are breaking it off, which is very painful. I see a lot of relationship problems as due to differences between men and women. For instance, men hate to talk about feelings or relationships. They also hate neediness. This leads to a lot of misunderstandings, miscommunications and displeasure in relationships, at least for me. If I'm feeling needy I need love and comfort, not to feel as though I'm less appealing or attractive. Men just seem to pull away if you're needy. If I were dating a woman (not going to happen; I'm straight) she might have an easier time communicating to me in a way that meets my needs. I had one relationship that I miss to this day. Although we weren't perfect, he was basically able to see me for "me," to love the essence of me, and to understand and tame my insecurities. He was the BEST about this. If I would get insecure, he'd just make a funny joke to distract me. And he was so patient about telling me he loved me. The difference between him and other men I've dated was his patience and his love. His love was never dependent on my being the "right" way. The man I have been dating has no patience and criticizes me for misinterpreting things. What makes this all even lonelier is that I don't have a lot to fill up my life--it's rather empty, in fact--and the friends that I do have are mostly in serious relationships. Therefore, I can't just pick up the phone and expect to have someone to hang out with on Friday night. This makes my life very lonely, because my few friends usually have "couple plans."
  14. Well, I've been posting recently about my relationship difficulties. We made it 5 months, at least. Our relationship problems were very similar to Carrie and Burger on Sex and the City. We just don't communicate well. The "good" is so good...in fact, it's hard for me to imagine not having him in my life. But the "bad" is the extreme of defensiveness and being misunderstood. I know I'm needy, but on the other hand I don't ask for all that much. I ask him to call me during the week and he claims he's too busy. I only ever see him on the weekend. This doesn't work for me. But whenever I tell him about this or any other concern, he tells me why my feelings are wrong. He is impatient and he doesn't want to compromise in any way. He has a lot of obligations, but it's bullshit that he can't call because he used to call when we started dating. Objectively I can see that I am not the only person he is so stubborn with (I can tell from his last serious relationship that he was the same way) but I still feel this is another "failure" on my part. Besides for that, I just feel sad and lonely because I have very little else going on in my life to fulfill me or make me happy. Sigh. I'm really bummed. In a way though, it does feel like a weight has been lifted because I know in my heart he wasn't right for me. I've never felt so misunderstood by anyone than I have in this relationship. Even so, I can just about guarantee that I'm going to go into a depression and blame myself for it...I blame myself for *everything*...even though both a close friend and my mother feel that he wasn't putting enough into the relationship and that everything has to be on his terms.
  15. I was cool as a cucumber on Lexapro. I absolutely loved it. I've never been so calm, relaxed or level headed in my life. Sadly, I couldn't stay on it as it made me gain massive amounts of weight and killed my sex life big time. It also made me quite tired, but that I could deal with. It doesn't seem fair. A medication that helps so much but I can't be on it.
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